Jacob Baugher

Cal '10

After my second semester of freshmen year began, I started to seriously consider the future of my college career. I knew that where I decided to live next year and what kind of organization (if any) I joined would have a major impact on the rest of my college experience. In the midst of this self-reflection, a good friend introduced me to Phi Psi.   

I’ll never forget the first time I set foot in the chapter house. All of the guys just seemed like best friends that loved to hang out, play video games, laugh and joke and not take themselves too seriously. While walking around and talking to everyone, I was introduced to another freshman who had just joined the chapter. A moment of awkward familiarity passed between us before we both made the connection—we were best friends in elementary school, but had lost contact when I moved away after 6th grade! This fraternity really seemed like something I could see myself being a part of; I called my Dad that night to ask what he thought about me joining a fraternity called Phi Kappa Psi…imagine my surprise when he told me that that was the fraternity he joined in college too! I was sold right then and there, and it is still the best decision I ever made.   

I think the most meaningful part of my Phi Psi Experience was beginning to incorporate the values of the Creed into my everyday life. Looking back, it’s very clear to me that my Dad raised my sister and me true to the ideals of the Fraternity. Honesty, doing well in school, and helping your fellow man were lessons I learned a long time ago; and I know that if I continue to lead my life as a true gentleman, I will become the best version of myself I can be.   

However, the most impactful aspect of my Phi Psi Experience has undoubtedly been the bonds and friendships forged with my chapter brothers. The non-Greeks that taunt and claim “you’re buying friends” simply cannot comprehend the depth of trust, respect, and camaraderie that is formed within a chapter, and that transcends generations and school boundaries.   

An old alumnus of my chapter once put it better than I ever could: “I still don’t truly know what it means to be a Phi Psi. Every time I meet a new Brother or attend another Phi Psi event, I learn something new about the Brotherhood and the meaning of our great Fraternity. My Phi Psi Experience is still ongoing, and I look forward to every minute of it.”